A young Iranian girl who went into a coma after being allegedly attacked by the nation’s morality police for not wearing a headscarf has reportedly died, according to Iranian official media.
IRNA, in a statement, said, “Unfortunately, the brain damage led to the victim spending some time in a coma and they died a few minutes ago.”
The 16-year-old girl has been identified as Armita Geravand.
Who was Armita Geravand?
Armita Geravand was 16 years old. Activists claimed she was hospitalized with brain injuries following the alleged attack at a Tehran metro station earlier this month. This incident happened only a few weeks after Iran passed harsh laws that stiffened the punishments meted out to women who disobey the country’s already strict hijab laws.
Early in October, the Kurdish rights organization Hengaw Organization for Human Rights, located in Norway, said that Geravand had been “assaulted” by morality police, which had left her unconscious.
IranWire, another opposition network, claims that Geravand was admitted to the hospital due to “head trauma.”
As reported by CNN, Hengaw employee Awyer Shekhi confirmed that Geravand was approached by female morality police officials outside the Shohada metro station and asked to straighten her headscarf. This request turned into a physical conflict in which the morality police officers assaulted Geravand. She was shoved, and she fell to the ground.
Iranian officials have denied the allegations, claiming that a low blood pressure injury caused Geravand’s hospitalization.
In remarks to state media, Geravand’s friends and relatives have backed these denials, but it’s unclear if they were made under duress. Human rights organizations and UN representatives have previously charged Iranian authorities with coercing the relatives of demonstrators who have died into making statements that support the government’s narrative.
Iran’s parliament passed a “hijab bill” in September that addressed clothing rules that carried a maximum 10-year prison sentence for violators. This development followed the first anniversary of widespread protests ignited by the death of Mahsa Amini.